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Flashing question with Hardiplank Lap Siding


palmettoinspect
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I inspected a townhome today and none of the vinyl windows had visible metal flashing above them. I have done many inspections and have always noted the metal flashing above the windows. I have checked the James Hardie installation guide and it doesn’t say anything about flashing above windows or openings. All of the homes in the small community were like this not just this one. Also there is no wood around the vinyl windows the trim is built into the window itself.

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I inspected a townhome today and none of the vinyl windows had visible metal flashing above them. I have done many inspections and have always noted the metal flashing above the windows. I have checked the James Hardie installation guide and it doesn’t say anything about flashing above windows or openings. All of the homes in the small community were like this not just this one. Also there is no wood around the vinyl windows the trim is built into the window itself.

Check the window manufacturer's specs.

Were those windows intended for use with FC siding or only vinyl?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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You normally see head flashings above wooden trim--oftentimes brickmold.

Those windows are self-flashing. The nailing flanges are designed to act as flashing, and most manufacturers mandate that a foil-backed asphalt tape should be installed over the flanges once the window is nailed into place.

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You normally see head flashings above wooden trim--oftentimes brickmold.

Those windows are self-flashing. The nailing flanges are designed to act as flashing, and most manufacturers mandate that a foil-backed asphalt tape should be installed over the flanges once the window is nailed into place.

Thats what I thought too thanks. I called James Hardi and they said the same thing.

Thanks

Kiel

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Hi,

There's no such thing as a "self flashing" window - that's a myth. All windows require flashings.

It used to be that all windows were installed with heavy felt splines and metal head flashings. However, when window manufacturers started fabricating windows with extruded nailing flanges builders started looking for ways to take short cuts and today many have stopped using metal or vinyl head flashings and are only using the self-adhering type of bituthene flashings that are installed behind the siding. Depending on where you are in the country, you might see head flashings routinely incorporated into most new homes or rarely incorporated into anything but high end homes.

The Hardi-Plank installation instructions don't specifically address a requirement for head flashings but there is a requirement to maintain 1/4-inch clearance between the bottom edge of the siding and any horizontal flashing details.

Around here, builders will often use the head flashings only on those windows that can be seen from the street and omit them on the rest of the windows. On those that don't have head flashings, there isn't any way to know whether the bituthene has been lapped properly unless you were around to watch the windows being flashed before the siding went on. They typically put a bead of elastomeric caulk - something like Big Stretch, around the perimeter of the window where the siding abuts it. It seems to work about 98% of the time but every once in a while we'll find a window where some horses ass with teeth reversed the paper or didn't install the bituthene correctly and water gets into the wall.

Lots of times here, the builders will only flash the bottom and sides of the windows and lap the building paper over the top flange without any head flashings. When I see that being done in a development where I'm inspecting a finished home, I write it up as improper and it usually sets the builder off about how they are "self flashing" windows and then I have to edumakate them.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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The IRC address the need for flashing (header) pretty well, if it has wood trim:

R703.8 Flashing. Approved corrosion-resistant flashing shall

be applied shingle-fashion in such a manner to prevent entry of

water into thewall cavity or penetration ofwater to the building

structural framing components. The flashing shall extend to the

surface of the exterior wall finish. Approved corrosion-resistant

flashings shall be installed at all of the following locations:

1. Exterior window and door openings. Flashing at exterior

window and door openings shall extend to the surface of

the exterior wall finish or to the water-resistive barrier

for subsequent drainage.

2. At the intersection of chimneys or other masonry construction

with frame or stucco walls, with projecting lips

on both sides under stucco copings.

3. Under and at the ends of masonry, wood or metal copings

and sills.

4. Continuously above all projecting wood trim.

5. Where exterior porches, decks or stairs attach to a wall or

floor assembly of wood-frame construction.

6. At wall and roof intersections.

7. At built-in gutters.

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Below is one of the first links that pops ups when one Googles vinyl window installation instructions. The self-adhesive flashing is all the instructions mandate. Maybe it was incorrect to use the term self-flashing earlier. Maybe I should have said 6" wide self-adhesive flashing on the nailing fin. That's why I added that manufacturers require it.

I helped a friend install a bunch of--I think--Pella vinyl windows last summer and we followed the instructions implicitly. The self adhesive flashing is all that was required. And certainly no head flashing on a vinyl window.

http://www.jeld-wen.com/_pdf/JII001.pdf

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I inspected a townhome today and none of the vinyl windows had visible metal flashing above them. I have done many inspections and have always noted the metal flashing above the windows. I have checked the James Hardie installation guide and it doesn’t say anything about flashing above windows or openings. All of the homes in the small community were like this not just this one. Also there is no wood around the vinyl windows the trim is built into the window itself.

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Did you see the AAMA label?

How old are the homes?

These look like Exterior flush fin refit windows. If they are you would not see a sheet metal drip over them. If they are they appear to be installed incorrectly.

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The IRC address the need for flashing (header) pretty well, if it has wood trim:

R703.8 Flashing. Approved corrosion-resistant flashing shall be applied shingle-fashion in such a manner to prevent entry of water into thewall cavity or penetration ofwater to the building structural framing components. The flashing shall extend to the surface of the exterior wall finish. Approved corrosion-resistant flashings shall be installed at all of the following locations:

1. Exterior window and door openings. Flashing at exterior window and door openings shall extend to the surface of the exterior wall finish or to the water-resistive barrier for subsequent drainage.

This is where the contractors get to omit head flashings and use the self-adhesive stuff. It's subtle, read it straight through and one thinks, "Cool, I got you now builder; there's supposed to be head flashings all the way to the exterior." Then you read it again and realize that they gave themselves an out.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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No, but most of the installs I see here they don't apply the trim before the siding unless it's at the street side of the house. Even when it's there, we have no way to know if it's incorporated into the self-adhering stuff or it's just slipped in behind the trim and doesn't even extend up behind the paper.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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More than likely those windows are a vinyl window with an integrated J channel to accept vinyl siding. If the SAF(self adhered flashing) tape and the WRB (weather resistant barrier) is detailed correctly this should not be a problem.

The use of any tape that contains asphaltic materiel may be a problem due to material incompatibility problems with a number of common brands of sealants that installers use.

The thing that no one has commented on is the fascia that appears to be way out of level plane; maybe this is a distortion by the angle.

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BTW how do I get email notification of activity on a thread

and how do I get my doctored pic back to the bigger size

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Hi Mark,

Thanks for your comments. About the fascia, generally speaking, on this site we refrain from commenting on other issues in photos posted here for two reasons;

1) the photos are posted by another inspector and we do them the courtesy of assuming that they'd seen it rather than put them on the spot. So, if an inspector asks about window flashing, that's what we try and discuss.

and

2) we try to avoid thread drift as much as possible, so that when someone uses the search feature to search for something like, say, "window flashings" they don't have to slog through twenty minutes of discussion about stuff unrelated to window flashings in order to find the pertinent information.

Thread drift is still pretty difficult to control, especially given my tendency to initiate most of it. [:-dunce]

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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